Briefs: Spring Break boosts US performance; JO&JOE to China

Spring Break lifts US performance: Boosted by the Spring Break travel, the hotel industry in the U.S. saw improved performance with better indexed comparisons against 2019, according to the March data from STR.

  • Occupancy: 64% (-6.2%)
  • ADR: US$146.61 (+10.9%)
  • RevPAR: US$93.82 (+4%)

Occupancy and RevPAR were the highest in the U.S. since July 2021. On a nominal basis, ADR level was the highest for any month on record. When adjusted for inflation, the March ADR level was around 2% below the 2019 comparable. Among the top 25 markets, the highest occupancy level (84.7%) was recorded in Tampa, which was still down 3.6% from the market’s 2019 benchmark.None of the Top 25 markets saw an occupancy increase over 2019. Markets with the lowest occupancy for the month included Minneapolis (50.1%) and Chicago (54.5%). San Francisco/San Mateo registered the steepest decline in occupancy (-23.4%). Overall, the Top 25 Markets showed higher occupancy and ADR than all other markets.

Sheraton New York Times Square sells for US$373 million: MCR and New York-based Island Capital Group LLC have jointly acquired the 1,780-key Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in Manhattan for US$373 million (US$210,000 per key). The iconic hotel was sold by Bethesda, Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. The purchase price was one of the lowest prices per room paid for fee simple hotel real estate in Manhattan in the past 13 years. The hotel will continue to be a part of the Sheraton brand under a new long-term franchise agreement and will be managed by MCR. The new owners plan to invest over US$100 million in the hotel’s rooms, public and banquet spaces. The third-largest hotel in New York City by room count opened in 1962 as the Americana and became a Sheraton-branded property in 1979.

Rendering of a JO&JOE hotel room

JO&JOE to debut in China: Accor in collaboration with Ennismore has entered into a long-term master franchise agreement with China’s Funyard Hotels and Resorts, Country Garden’s core alliance enterprise, to launch lifestyle brand JO&JOE in China, with the commitment to open a minimum of 1,300 hotels, representing over 100,000 rooms. Funyard will be the exclusive strategic partner of the brand in China. The initial locations of the hotels will be announced later this year. JO&JOE, which belongs to Ennismore’s global collective of brands, currently has operating properties in France, Austria, Brazil and Colombia. Accor and Country Garden have previously collaborated on hotel projects involving premium hospitality brands. Accor Greater China recently crossed the milestone of 500 hotels.

citizenM launches membership program: citizenM announced the launch of mycitizenM+, a hotel membership. Members can sign up for US$12 a month and enjoy the benefits of a loyalty program without having to collect points or achieve levels of membership. The membership will guarantee an additional 10% discount on the lowest public rate anytime and a room will be guaranteed, even during busy periods for reservations made at least 48 hours in advance. Other perks include free late check-out, free upgrade to a premium view room, first in queue chat service, early access to discounts and members-only events. The cost of the membership, especially when used in high-demand destinations like London and New York, will be recouped within two nights.

Tru by Hilton to Brazil: Tru by Hilton announced the opening of its first property in Brazil and in the Caribbean and Latin America. The 154-key Tru by Hilton Crici√ļma in Crici√ļma is owned by Pr√≥spera Empreendimento and managed by ICH Administra√ß√£o de Hot√©is. The hotel includes a lobby, breakfast bar and fitness centers. Currently, Hilton has a portfolio of over 180 properties in the Caribbean and Latin America with a pipeline of more than 100 hotels across the region, including around 10 projects in Brazil. Tru by Hilton has a portfolio of over 210 open hotels and more than 240 in the pipeline. The brand plans to expand its presence in the Caribeean and Latin America with the opening of Tru by Hilton Monterrey Fundidora in Mexico later this year, Tru by Hilton Chapeco in Brazil in 2023, Tru by Hilton Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Tru by Hilton San Jose Airport, Costa Rica in 2024 and Tru by Hilton San Juan Condado in Puerto Rico in 2025.

Sonder grows U.K., Ireland portfolio: Sonder Holdings Inc., San Francisco, California, announced the expansion of its U.K. and Ireland portfolio with the addition of six properties, four new hotels in central locations in London. In April, Sonder opened 102-key The Henry close to Hyde Park and 53-room The Voyage on Norfolk Square. The Rove, with 74 rooms, is also expected to open on Norfolk Square. Later this year, the group will open an 86-room hotel near Bedford Square in Bloomsbury. Apart from these four hotels, Sonder currently has six properties in London. The Sonder Royal Garden Apartments in Edinburgh is slated to grow with 11 additional units. The group will debut in Dublin with a 26-key property. With these additions, Sonder’s portfolio will grow to 28 properties in the U.K. and Ireland with around 900 units.